388 pages, 6 x 9
40 b&w illustrations
For thirty years before the coming of the European missionaries, European explorers were able to observe Tahitian society as it had existed for centuries. Now Edwin Ferdon, Polynesian archaeologist and veteran of Thor Heyerdah's expedition to Easter Island, has interwoven their records to show us in fascinating detail what that society was like.
Relying on the logs and eyewitness accounts of more than fifty explorers of the period, up to the landing of the London Missionary Society's first contingent from the Duff in 1797, Ferdon fulfills his avowed purpose 'to reconstruct the culture of early Tahiti, as it was before the irreversible influence of the Europeans altered it for all times.' . . . A matter-of-fact, easily readable, general introduction to one of Polynesia's most celebrated cultures."—Ethnohistory
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